Cornwall's landscape is of national and international importance as well as being vitally important to the local economy. Twenty-seven per cent of the County is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a further 24% as Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). The landscape is formed from a combination of climate, geology, natural features and human activity.
Cornwall's landscape is highly managed and some practices or changes in management regimes have had unfortunate side effects. Our increased interest in gardening and exotic plants over the last 200 years has led to a great number of introduced species and cultivars. Many have made Cornish gardens the envy of the world, however, some have made themselves at home and have become highly invasive, spreading over the garden hedge and into the countryside, displacing our natural flora. Cornwall is currently pioneering work in the control of invasive alien weeds such as Japanese Knotweed where a top scientific research company has been contracted to examine the weed and potential natural control methods. There are also a few problem native invasive weeds such as Common Ragwort which require careful and co-ordinated management to limit its spread.